The Future of Stem Cell Research: Chances for a Cure

September 6, 2008
Given a million dollars to donate anonymously, I would unhesitatingly provide my wealth to support embryonic stem-cell research. There are many in the world who suffer from unfortunate diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, and have little hope for a cure to end their martyrdom. I believe that the benefits of stem-cell research, such as repairing damaged tissues and vital organs, highly outweigh the supposed consequences. Furthermore, research concerning all of humanity offers a vast number of opportunities to prevent, diagnose, treat, and potentially cure.

Although experimentation required to obtain this research may destroy underdeveloped human embryos in the process, studies show that stem-cells have the capacity to become any type of cell. Embryonic cells have the ability to be used in many treatments and transplantations because of their behavior, saving the lives of countless adults and children.

Though stem-cells provide new chances for a cure, many people argue against this innovation. Scientific research and ethical principles come into conflict as the issue of stem-cells is brought up and the argument seems to lie only in the opinions of those involved, creating a wide gap between those who are for it and those who oppose it. Some people may argue that scientists can work with adult stem-cells to yield the same results as with embryonic cells, not fully understanding that an adult stem-cell gives scientists much less to work with; comparable to giving a talented musician an outdated instrument. They go as far as to say that it is “unethical and immoral”, but shouldn’t people use the materials at their finger tips to gain knowledge? Shouldn’t we hope to one day live in a world where everyone has the chance to be healthy? Shouldn’t we strive to find a cure?

If people were to become more informed about this topic, they would better understand this issue and start to ask, “How many lives can we save from this one cell?” rather than “What could that cell have become?” Adult stem-cells have been useful to treat some medical conditions, but embryonic cells, in contrast, have been less fortunate. However, embryonic cells would have more opportunities than do adult stem-cells to regenerate because adult cells are already specialized, limiting their use.

Because adult stem-cell research has advanced and improved over the years, I strongly believe that embryonic stem-cells will have a great impact in the future. With the knowledge and ability to treat conditions such as diabetes, burns, blindness, spinal cord injuries, heart disease, and strokes, scientists and doctors could make amazing breakthroughs that would benefit all of humanity. The money given to encourage and maintain stem-cell developments would give new hope to many thankful individuals. This open door allows for the availability of a wide range of treatments for cell-based diseases and for the growth of healthy cells for transplantations. For instance, Parkinson’s disease is able to be treated by restituting defected cells, while cells derived from the umbilical cord can be engineered to produce insulin. Using embryonic cells could be more effective because they are “younger” and so are more active and divide at a higher rate than do adult cells.

Though scientists have been challenged with this issue for many years, stem-cell research is still in its infancy. Scientists are eager to study these cells for many reasons. One goal is to track cell development to better understand how tissues are formed. Secondly, they work tediously to uncover the reason why cells can spontaneously cause diseases. Furthermore, the valuable information gathered from all scientists’ research can be compiled. In the future, scientists will be able to refer to information concerning the properties and behaviors of cells. Once stem-cells can be translated into therapeutic use, this unique method will generate steady benefits that are sure to promote earlier diagnosis and treatment. It is well worth the million dollars for talented men and women to continue fighting for a victory in the laboratory. I admire their determination and trust that their research will soon benefit the country; I hope to see successful transplants and treatments with cells that function properly and do not harm the patient.

Not only will stem-cell research provide the world with a better understanding of human development, it will also unmask the mystery behind birth defects and other abnormalities. All research concerning cell-based defects will give doctors insight to related medical diseases, such as cancer, that express deformities during cell division and cell differentiation.

Stem-cell treatments have yet to evolve into a widely used practice that consistently yields effective results, and I intend to provide what is needed with a donation of one million dollars. Though it may not be enough to accommodate for a majority of the expenses, it will encourage further involvement and examination. This donation should promote awareness to create a healthy environment surrounding the stem-cell issue where people are educated before finalizing their stand on this crucial matter. I sincerely believe that with the right tools, scientists will finds effective treatments that people will come to appreciate. Practical application will only be possible with more research, studies, and support.

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